An Unimaginable Boom

Posted June 6, 2014 by gensci
Categories: Novarupta, Volcanoes

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It’s hard to imagine that the 380 m wide by 68 m tall Novarupta dome is the site of the largest volcanic eruption in over 100 years! However, the undulating pattern of the surface in the foreground is the first clue that something more powerful than any of us have witnessed occurred here not so long ago.

 

What is the loudest explosion you have ever heard? How far away could you hear it? 1 mile? 2 miles? 10 miles? What about 100 miles? If something exploded, and you could hear it from over 100 miles away, that would be impressive, wouldn’t it! I can’t imagine an explosion that big. Now, think about an explosion that could be heard 800 miles away, and you are on the scale of the explosion that started the Novarupta-Katmai eruption of 1912!

Today, June 6, 2014, is the anniversary of the largest volcanic eruption in over 100 years, the June 6-8, 1912 eruption of Novarupta-Katmai. Located in Katmai National Park in remote Southwest Alaska, the eruption was more like an explosion. The 60-hour blast filled the surrounding valley with sand-like flows up to 700 feet thick in places. And most of that occurred in the first 16 hours!

As magma blasted out of Novarupta’s vent, the magma chamber supporting nearby Mt. Katmai also started to empty out Novarupta. With its internal support gone, the top of Mt. Katmai collapsed, creating a massive hole (caldera) that all the buildings in New York City and then some could fit inside.

Although I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Katmai National Park studying this gigantic eruption, it is still hard to imagine what it must have looked like as ash clouds bellowed and the surrounding valley rapidly filled with one ignimbrite package (sandflow) after another. But it did happen, it happened very quickly, and the evidence is there for all to see.

Surrounding Novarupta-Katmai, evidence also exists for an Ice Age, preceded by Noah’s flood. You see, Novarupta-Katmai materials rest atop glacial till (Ice Age deposits). And the Ice Age deposits rest atop the 15,000 foot thick Naknek formation, a water-deposited sedimentary rock layer (Flood deposit).

Would you like to learn more about this amazing eruption? One way is by purchasing our new Journey to Novarupta audio adventure. Produced by the creators of the popular Jonathan Park creation adventure series, Journey to Novarupta follows our 2009 and 2011 trips to the volcano. It also flashes back to the 1900’s and the expeditions of Dr. Robert Griggs, the first human to see the eruption site. Journey with us as we search for and find evidence of Noah’s Flood, reveal huge problems in the radiometric dating methods use as evidence for millions of years, and more. This family adventure will build your faith as you discover powerful scientific evidence for a young and active planet!

Journey to Novarupta is on sale now through June 12, 2014! Click here to listen to the opening scene, and/or to order. To receive the sale price, copy/paste coupon code JourneySale682014. Digital downloads are on sale for $7.99 and CDs for $11.99.

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Christ, the Common Core of all DIVE courses

Posted May 7, 2014 by gensci
Categories: Teaching Mathematics, Teaching Science

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A Brief History of University

Late in the 12th Century, a phenomenon unique to Europe appeared, the university. University is actually a combination of two words, unity and diversity. Originally, universities were schools that owned no real estate, but were instead an association of teachers or students. Although not always theologically or scholarly accurate, what under girded the university was the unification of all subjects by an all-encompassing worldview. Christianity provided the unity that connected the diversity of courses offered.*

In other words, Jesus Christ was at the core of the worldview of original universities! Unfortunately, in the 21st Century, Christianity is no longer at the core of most educational systems. In the United States, the government’s new Common Core program has a godless, purposeless, evolutionary worldview at its core.

Who Interprets the Facts Matters

Cornelius Van Til (1895-1987), author of Essays on Christian Education, made the wise statement that, in this world, there exists a whole collection of facts. Would you rather have those facts interpreted to your child through a Christian or a non-Christian worldview?

For Christians, the answer should be simple. Jesus Christ is, or should be, the common core of all the subjects we teach our children. To the extent that we are able to, we should try to use curriculum taught from a Christian worldview. But that also doesn’t mean we need to fear books and courses that are taught from a non-Christian, or even anti-Christian worldview. We just need to train our children how to think critically about these things. If we teach them the Truth, they will be more capable of detecting false “philosophy and empty deceit.” (Colossians 2:8)

Pray that more Christian families will realize the problems of sending their children day after day to be taught in schools where Jesus Christ is not the common core. Pray that we can find new and creative ways to help those who, for various reasons, it would be extremely difficult or impossible to home school or attend a private Christian school. Pray for Christian families in countries where homeschooling and Christian schooling is illegal, that they will be able to help their children test everything they are learning, holding onto the good (I Thessalonians 5:21).

If you are interested in learning more about DIVE Math and Science courses, where Jesus Christ is the common core, click here.

*Paraphrased from Mathematics, is God Silent?, by James Nickel.

Thinking of Resurrection Bay

Posted April 21, 2014 by gensci
Categories: Spreading His Word

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Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska. It was named by Alexandr Baranov, who was forced to retreat into the bay during a bad storm in the Gulf of Alaska. When the storm settled it was Easter Sunday. Today, Resurrection Bay, and all of Alaska, are part of the United States, purchased from Russia in 1867 for 2 cents an acre. Russia at the time was strained economically, after being humbled in the Crimean War of 1853-1856.

Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska

Yesterday (April 20, 2014) we celebrated Resurrection Day. The day got me thinking of one of my favorite places, Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska. The bay was named in the late 1700’s by Alexandr Baranov, a Russian fur trader who retreated into the bay during a bad storm in the Gulf of Alaska. When the storm settled it was Easter Sunday.

Today, Resurrection Bay, and all of Alaska, are part of the United States, purchased from Russia in 1867 for 2 cents an acre. Russia at the time was strained economically, after being humbled in the Crimean War of 1853-1856. Vladimir Putin has been compared with the czarist emperor, Nicholas I, who lacked the foresight to see how his prideful 19th Century actions in Crimea would adversely affect Russia.

Pray that Vladimir Putin will change his arrogant ways, before he leads his country through yet another death and resurrection. Like all countries, Russia doesn’t need another prideful leader, they need a servant leader whose king is Jesus Christ. Pray also that you and I can have some death and resurrection of our own prideful ways as well, and do more than just point out the folly of national leaders.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18.

A sea otter feeds on mussels in Resurrection Bay.

A sea otter feeds on mussels in Resurrection Bay.

Resurrection Bay's beautiful, yet rugged coast.

Resurrection Bay’s beautiful, yet rugged coast.

A humpback whale surfaces in Resurrection Bay.

A humpback whale surfaces in Resurrection Bay.

Rockfish from Resurrection Bay.

Rockfish from Resurrection Bay.

Build a Better Engine

Posted April 17, 2014 by gensci
Categories: Creation/Evolution, Spreading His Word, Teaching Mathematics

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Over the last few years, I have talked to a lot of people who spew propaganda claiming Bible-believing Christians are “anti-science.” Because people like me are skeptical of the history claims of evolutionists and futurology claims of global warming alarmists, we are labeled “anti-science.” Fortunately, discerning between what is and is not a scientific claim is as easy as understanding a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Unfortunately, some refuse to acknowledge the differences, using the “Christians are anti-science” fallacy to create political division. For others,  it’s just another excuse to hate their neighbor.

One pattern I’ve noticed among the “Christians are anti-science” crowd is that the most outspoken individuals tend to have little or no background in science or engineering. When God gives me an opportunity to talk to unbelievers that promote this agenda, I have learned to 1) let them know Christians like me are most assuredly pro-science, 2) present the Gospel, and 3) encourage them to stop doing what they are doing and get into a science and engineering field.

Something I have encouraged more than one unbeliever to do is “build me a better engine.” Promoting the idea that fossil fuels are causing catastrophic global warming is foolish. In spite of increased atmospheric CO2 levels, there has been no warming for 17 years and 8 months now. If, instead of promoting unscientific future climate ideas and labeling those who disagree as “anti-science,” why not do something meaningful?  Why not be actively involved in designing less expensive, more fuel efficient engines, ones that could reduce air pollution and provide better lives for the poor? Wouldn’t a pro-science, love-your-neighbor mindset be better than an unscientific, hate-your-neighbor one? Well, of course it would, but the former is a difficult concept for those who don’t believe the foolishness of God is wiser than men (I Corinthians 1:25).

Unless God changes their hearts and they repent and turn to Christ, foolish actions are to be expected from unbelievers (Psalm 14:1). Fortunately, there are young Christian men and women out there who love God and His creation, and want to “build a better engine” for His glory. Listen to this testimony from David K., a homeschooling senior that is currently using our DIVE Calculus course (bold emphasis mine):

“Thank you also for all the work you have put into the DIVE CDs. Your teaching is clear, easy to understand, and you explain everything really well. Your lectures have helped me immensely, and I don’t know where I would be in math with out them. I definitely agree with you, in that God has allowed us to understand math so that we can get to know Him better. I love looking in Creation and seeing God Himself! I am a senior in high-school, and I plan to go to college to study Engineering Physics, with mechanical emphasis. I want to eventually perform engine research to produce a more financially feasible engine. I would do this by creating a new energy conversion process that does more work per unit of fuel than engines today. I have always had a love for science and math, and I really look up to people like you who know so much and use it for the glory of God. Thank you for being a great example for me to follow.” 

While David K’s words are incredibly kind and humbling to me, I hope they are an encouragement to you! A lot of people are surrounded by hopelessness and despair, but there’s also a lot of hope out there, too!

Are you a young person like David K who loves the Lord and wants to take what God has made and use it to design things that will serve others? Are you currently an unbeliever? Whoever you are, it is important to be intellectually honest and spread the word that Christians are pro-science. History proclaims this truth, as do present actions of humans all over the world.  So, enough of this blog post, get out there and build a better engine!

Foundations in Genesis

Posted February 26, 2014 by gensci
Categories: Creation/Evolution, Environmental Issues, Spreading His Word, The Right to Life

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Student Workbook Cover, Foundations in Genesis

I made this student workbook (Russian) and teacher’s manual (English) to use in seminary classes I’ll teach in March 2014 at the Biblical Theological Seminary of St. Petersburg, Russia. The seminary is the educational wing of the Slavic Reformation Society.

Foundations in Genesis, Student Workbook (Russian)

Foundations in Genesis, Teacher’s Manual (English)

I snapped the cover photo in 2009 at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park, a world-famous grizzly bear viewing area. And speaking of grizzlies, if you would rather just read about them instead of all this deep theology stuff, click here.

Acknowledgements

The workbook includes a section for students to take notes during lectures, plus selected reading assignments. The two main sources for reading materials already translated into Russian include Chapters 1-3 of my book, Exchange of Truth (translated in 2008), and Creation Ministries International’s Russian page, currently with 134 articles translated into Russian. Praise God for this incredible resource from CMI!

I would also like to acknowledge the following individuals and organizations, and their awesome sermons, films, presentations and papers that are part of this course:

Dr. John K. Reed et. al. and research papers on understanding naturalism here and here.

Pastor Fred Greco and sermons/lessons on Genesis and covenant theology.

Dr. George Grant’s sermon audio on The Cultural Mandate.

Dr. E. Calvin Beisner and The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

Dr. Jonathan Wells and his chapter on Soviet Darwinism (Lysenkoism) in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.

Mr. Mark Amunrud, instructor at Montana Bible College, and presentations on the main point of Genesis.

Rousas J. Rushdoony’s book on Genesis, and particularly Chapter 7 on marriage.

Living Waters Ministry and 180 Movie.

American Vision and How to Answer The Fool.

The War on Humans

Posted February 21, 2014 by gensci
Categories: Environmental Issues

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Killer whales suing Sea World for slavery. Laws against the humiliation of plants. University professors, politicians, and environmental extremist groups like Sierra Club advocating for human population control. What’s going on?! I know all this sounds really weird (or I hope it does!), but certain self-appointed important people think YOU (they would never think this of themselves) have no more value than the pile of goo you evolved from. Therefore, YOU (not them) have no more value than a blade of grass, so in order to “save the planet,” it’s okay to manage and control you like so many lawn trimmings.

Foolish thinking like this has its roots in naturalism, the false idea that the material universe is all that exists, and there is no God. Naturalism is supported by the false ideas of evolutionism and billions of years, which can deceive people into thinking that, over the eons of slow and gradual change, humans certainly aren’t any more special than anything else. Unless of course, you are one of “them.” The latest politically correct way to hate your neighbor is about THEM getting rid of YOU. I hope you’re not one of THEM.

Pray that unbelievers and confused Christians would get back to trusting His word, remembering that humans are special, created in His image, and commanded by God to wisely manage His creation (Genesis 1:26-28). Also, here are a couple of resources you can share. First is the new film and e-book by Wesley J. Smith titled War on Humans. You can watch the film below.

Second, show a skeptic the following graph. I used actual data from 222 countries, and sorted them by per-capita GDP. I found the top countries have a per capita GDP almost double that of the bottom half. That means they also have more funds available to properly steward God’s creation. But here’s the shocker for the human-haters. The population density of the top countries is over 5 times greater than the bottom countries.

average gdp vs population density

The biblical mandate to wisely “be fruitful and multiply” plays out in the real world with more people and more funds available for stewardship. The human-hater model, which equates stewardship with massive population reduction of other humans (not themselves), will result in less prosperous countries, and therefore a reduced ability to steward.

Ultimately, environmental issues are not really about human population. They are about human sin. If we reduced human population by 90%, which University of Texas professor Eric Pianka suggests, there would still be plenty of people left to make enough nuclear bombs to commit mass murder, but also environmental havoc, on a global scale.

God wants us to know His creation and use it. And biblical dominion doesn’t mean domination. Not even close. Nor does it mean keep our human hands off of as much of it as possible. Let’s stop rebelling against His commands in Genesis 1:26-28, repeated in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Let’s just trust him instead, humbly repent when we fail, and try a little harder to love our neighbors.

179 Logical Fallacies and the Ham vs. Nye debate

Posted February 2, 2014 by gensci
Categories: Creation/Evolution

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A Twitter Battle

And all I did was Tweet “#Design of a biochemical circuit” in response to a paper on design in yeast cells. Okay, so I also included two anti-creationism hysteria groups, TFN and NCSE, in the Tweet, but, even for followers of irrational groups like these, I was a bit surprised at the sheer number of logical fallacies that followed for the next month and a half.

My original Tweet was back in October, 2013. The first to respond was one of the paper’s co-authors, Volkan Sevim, who Tweeted “This is not the kind of #Design you have in mind.” So, right at the start, the “Twitter battle” began with the ambiguity logical fallacy.  Something expected of politicians, not scientists, Volkan pretended that design in a biochemical circuit could mean something other than “to devise for a specific function or end.”

After Volkan’s tweet, atheists and secular humanists picked up on the thread. People with Twitter handles like “Debunking Stupidity,” “Logical Lass,” “God Free World,” etc., started to engage. And not with weapons of logic, but with a maelstrom of logical fallacies. The following is a ranking of the types of logical fallacies used. And 179 is a conservative estimate of the actual number of logical errors released from ASH’s quiver (ASH = Atheist Secular Humanist):

  1. Ambiguity (67). Equating science with history, rather than clearly distinguishing scientific research from natural history research.
  2. Strawman (59). Primarily “Creationists are against science,” and/or “science deniers.”
  3. Ad hominem (25). Cursing, but also threats of murder, including mass murder of Christians.
  4. Genetic (12). Even though someone has a PhD in science, their research “doesn’t count” if they are a biblical creationist.
  5. Appeal to authority (6). Several appeals to “scientific consensus,” even though that’s not how science is done.
  6. Circular reasoning (2).
  7. Law of non-contradiction (2).
  8. Bandwagon (1).
  9. Black or white (1).
  10. Tu quoque (1).
  11. Moving the goalposts (1). One commenter said that if the earth is young, why haven’t we found dinosaur DNA? When I showed him we have, he conveniently “moved the goalposts.”
  12. Loaded question (1).
  13. False cause (1).

I really shouldn’t have been surprised by atheists and humanists attempting to “prove” themselves using foolish statements, because that is exactly what Scripture says will happen in Psalm 14:1, Romans 1:18-26, I Corinthians 2:14, and many other places.

The Ham vs. Nye Origins Debate

So what does this have to do with the upcoming origins debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye?  Well, my recent “Twitter battle” provides a glimpse into how Bill Nye, a secular humanist, will debate. Many media outlets have reported on the debate already, and Mr. Nye has portrayed himself as the debate’s “reasonable man.” But rather than using reason, Mr. Nye will attempt to “prove” his version of history with a gusher of logical fallacies. He will try to claim that Christians are against science, confusing scientific research with natural history research. He will fail (or be willfully ignorant of) to see the obvious fact that everyone has access to the same scientific data, so this can’t possibly be a debate about science vs. anti-science. It is a debate about origins, which means it is a debate about how to interpret history. Nye thinks he is battling against anti-science zealots. What I hope Mr. Ham makes crystal clear for viewers though, is the fact that Mr. Nye is debating a straw man, not Mr. Ham.

Pray that God will use this debate to turn the hearts of unbelievers like Bill Nye to Jesus Christ. It is easier to argue using logical fallacies when hiding behind a Twitter handle, YouTube video, etc., but much more difficult to do in a live debate.  Pray also for Christians who are confused by naturalism, or who attempt to unwisely mingle Christianity with naturalism, committing the “middle ground” fallacy.

Journey to Novarupta Audio Adventure

Posted January 25, 2014 by gensci
Categories: Novarupta, Novarupta video

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Journey to Novarupta

By God’s grace, we are in the production phase for the new audio adventure, Journey to Novarupta! We thought a film by this title would be produced first, but Providence is guiding us in a different direction right now. We are so grateful to have Pat and Sandy Roy at the helm, with their 15+ years of experience producing radio dramas (Jonathan Park).

The audio adventure is based on the true stories of Dr. Robert Griggs 1915-1919 expeditions to the Novarupta volcano, coupled with two expeditions I led in 2009 and 2011.

Listen to the intro, as Dr. Griggs and his time are caught in the middle of a pumice storm, at night, while surrounded by thousands of steaming, toxic fumaroles: Journey To Novarupta Opening Scene

A Profound Theological Statement

Posted December 30, 2013 by gensci
Categories: Creation/Evolution

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In his new book, Rocks Aren’t Clocks, PhD geologist John K. Reed writes:

“Today’s geology assumes the truth of secular naturalism as a matter of course. That emphasizes the need to examine the philosophical and theological issues. For example, people ask if the Bible is a reliable historical source. That’s not a question of science, but it is a question that has profound implications for geology. If we answer in the negative, we have made a profound theological statement; if we answer in the affirmative, then prehistory is precluded and the atheistic geological history that most of us learned in school is false.”

So here is one man who says that we are making a profound theological statement when we ask if the Bible is a reliable historical source.  But then other Christians answer the question in a more agnostic, “I don’t know” fashion.  And still other Christians agree with the atheists, thinking that answering in the affirmative is “embarrassing.”  But, do the agnostic or “embarrassed” believers, as well as the unbelievers realize what a profound theological statement they are making? And do they realize, as Dr. Reed points out, that the earth age question is not primarily a question of science, but of history?

Should any Christian be agnostic or embarrassed about whether the Bible is a reliable historical source? Well, no. Think about the detailed genealogical records in Scripture. Those are in the Bible to remind us of God’s unbroken covenant of grace with mankind throughout history.  Beginning with Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15, God’s covenant of grace unfolds through history, going from Adam to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to David, and finally to Christ.

Also, looking at Scriptures like Romans 1:20, or Matthew 19:4, or Mark 10:6, there is no good reason to interpret those any other way except that mankind was present from Day 6 on.  Personally, I don’t know exactly how old the earth is, but it is reasonable to conclude from Scripture that it is around 6,000 years old, and mankind has been there since the beginning.

If you are a Christian who is currently “agnostic” or “embarrassed” about the earth age question, I encourage you to read Rocks Aren’t Clocks. You will quickly understand that there isn’t a science vs. Scripture battle, but there is most definitely a battle between the worldviews of Christianity and naturalism. The battle is over how to interpret history, not whether Christians are debating the existence of gravity, DNA, etc. If, on the other hand, you are an unbeliever who thinks Christianity is foolishness, then I pray that God will change your heart, because all the evidence in the world won’t save you. Jesus saves.

Ancient Forest Discovered in Gulf of Mexico

Posted October 11, 2013 by gensci
Categories: Uncategorized

Wave action from Hurricane Katrina (2005) uncovered an ancient cypress forest at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Located about 10 miles off Alabama’s coast in about 60 feet of water, the cypress is so well-preserved that, when cut, smells like fresh wood!

What is surprising, and humorous though is how a submerged cypress forest can uproot irrational and downright false claims about the past, present, and future!

Old Earth or Young, dinosaurs and humans lived at same time

First watch the video below, then read this article (click here for article). The video claims the forest is 12,000 years old, while the article claims it is 50,000 years old! I would claim both are wrong! The 50,000 year date was arrived at by using radiometric dating methods (C-14), the same methods that are revealing dinosaurs were around at the same time as the submerged cypress trees!

Like many Christians, I trust Biblical history as true history, so I think the 12-50 k year-old dates are incorrect interpretations anyways. It’s the folks who trust radiometric methods to give reliable ages who have A LOT of explaining to do!  In the old earth/young earth discussion, reasonable arguments can be made by both sides. However, as anyone whose had some basic high school logic instruction knows, just because an argument is logical, doesn’t mean it’s true. And while there are reasons to believe radiometric dating gives real ages, I say they are not good reasons.

Radioactive Carbon-14 (C-14) decays into Nitrogen, and should be non-existent in objects millions of years old. Researchers used the C-14 method to date the cypress trees at 50,000 years old. But C-14 in dinosaur tissue is giving similar ages! Plus, “old earthers” believe humans have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, so the only reasonable conclusion, whether you interpret the earth as young or old, is that dinos and humans lived at the same time. It is irrational to claim otherwise. So, not only are the old earth conclusions about time not very reasonable, they are downright irrational, too!

Massive sea level rise in the past

Global warming alarmism continues, with doomsday prophets claiming 2047 as the point of no return. But look at this cypress forest, buried in 60 feet of water. Old earth or young, the timeframe here was post-Ice Age. But, talk about sea-level rise! Global warming alarmists have entire nations in a panic over prophecies regarding miniscule sea level rises. These cypress trees reveal though, that not so long ago, the sea level was much, much lower. It’s been rising since the last Ice Age! This is not cause for panic of any sort.

The cypress forest is just one more in a multitude of data points affirming the biblical pattern of Creation, Flood, Ice Age, present. As Michael Oard and other natural historians describe, post-Flood seas were warm, generating massive evaporation, which in turn would generate massive precipitation and ice-buildup. As the oceans cooled, the ice buildup slowed, then started to melt, creating huge spring floods. A catastrophic flood, hurricane, etc., is responsible for rapidly burying the massive cypress trees and submerging them in a rapidly rising Gulf of Mexico.

Federal Mismanagement of Red Snapper

From Alabama to Texas and beyond, red snapper populations are definitely not in jeopardy! In the video below, red snapper are seen swarming around the cypress trees. The same is true around oil and gas platforms off the Texas coast. Yet, in a move that defies reason and reality, the federal government keeps claiming snapper populations are in jeopardy! In recent years, including 2013, excessively tight restrictions were placed on recreational anglers, including month-long seasons (or less), and 2-fish limits. States are getting fed up with the feds, and hopefully they will respond by allowing states to manage snapper populations in federal waters past their own state boundaries. A lot of the confusion over red snapper management stems from bad population models, coupled with politics related to recreational and commercial fisherman. The reality is, there’s plenty of Gulf of Mexico to go around for everyone. With some common-sense management strategies, a reef-dwelling fish like red snapper can be turned into a bounty for commercial and recreational angler alike.

By trusting Scripture as true history and trusting God’s directive to “do science” in Genesis 1:26-28, Christians everywhere can come to more reasonable conclusions than the world does regarding the past, present and future.